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PRECIOUS-Gold edges up as dollar eases ahead of ECB meeting

Oct 26 (Reuters) - Gold prices inched up on Thursday, after marking a 2-1/2 week low in the previous session, with the dollar easing ahead of a key European Central Bank meeting later in day.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,278.61 an ounce by 0042 GMT. It hit its lowest since Oct. 6 at $1272 an ounce in the previous session.

* U.S. gold futures for December delivery rose 0.1 percent to $1,280.20 an ounce.

* The dollar index , which measures the greenback against a basket of major currencies, was down 0.1 percent at 93.622.

* Asian stocks stalled on Thursday, weighed as Wall Street shares pulled back from record highs, while the euro stretched gains ahead of the ECB policy meeting, at which it could take a major step away from accommodative policy.

* President Donald Trump is unlikely to pick economic adviser Gary Cohn as his nominee for Federal Reserve chairman because Cohn is playing a crucial role in the White House tax reform effort, a senior administration official said on Wednesday.

* U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan said on Wednesday that the sweeping Republican tax-cut plan is entering its toughest phase yet as lobbyists swarm Congress to try to protect valuable tax breaks.

* The Bank of Canada held interest rates steady on Wednesday, as expected, even as it said the economy was at or near full capacity, signaling it was willing to let the economy run a little bit hot amid uncertainty over NAFTA renegotiations.

* Worldwide debt has risen to a record $226 trillion - more than three times global annual economic output - and firms in more countries are struggling to service loans, a study shows, just as key central banks prepare to end super-cheap credit policies.

* Japan's central bank is set to roughly maintain its price forecasts at its policy meeting next week and blame stagnant inflation on factors like corporate efforts to boost productivity, signalling that it will hold off on expanding stimulus for the time being.

DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT)

0600 Germany GfK consumer sentiment Nov 0800 Euro zone Money supply and lending data Sep

1145 European Central Bank announces interest rate decision 1230 ECB President Mario Draghi holds news conference

1230 U.S. Weekly jobless claims 1400 U.S. Pending homes sales Sep

(Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph Radford)